Friday, April 21, 2017

We Will Not Be Silent

I love the work of Russell Freedman, who writes  for the YA audience non-fiction, historical essays using photographs as a foundation for his work. He has been awarded the Newbery Medal, three Newbery Honors, the Sibert Medal, and well the list goes on. In 2016 he published We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement that Defied Hitler. Basically it is the story of how the millennials of that time stood up to their government.

Can you imagine?

These were mostly middle-class, sheltered college students. The ones comedian Ck Louis claims cannot stop looking at their cell phones long enough to have a conversation.

Brother and sister Hans and Sophie Scholl and young father of three Christoph Probst were initially arrested but then the dragnet fanned out and others were caught and convicted. Yet it is these three who are most easily identified with the movement. Certainly they paid with their lives.

They put out altogether 5 or 6 pamphlets—they were caught distributing the last one which was immediately collected by the Gestapo. These were broadsides. So not extensive, but nevertheless well-written. They were asking people to question. To ask themselves: Do you want to be associated with crimes against humanity? What side are you on?

Yet, like ripples on a pond, the repercussion of their actions spread out, eventually being taken up by other students and members of academia. The rumbles of dissent began to sound. The White Rose Society planted the seeds of resistance; the tide was turning against Hitler and his empirical war. The Scholls and Probst were arrested and quickly sentenced. They were beheaded February 22, 1943.

Let’s keep in mind their sacrifice and courage as Trump continues to pre-emptively bomb other nations—as he leads us into wars and policy that has no rhyme or reason.
Hans, Sopbie, and Christoph

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